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Thread: SHECHEM

  1. #1
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    SHECHEM

    PLEASE HELP!!
    For years I have been trying to clarify the significance of SHECHEM, but I can't quite get all the way there. So I would appreciate any thoughts from you all....... I will provide below all related scriptures and thoughts I have collected thus far. If it seems dis-jointed, thats because IT IS!! I'll make a lot of LARGE detours, because somehow, these things also seem to fit into the mystery. So if you don't see where I'm going, that's because I'm not sure either!! OK here goes:

    SHECHEM is also called Sichem (Ge 12:6) and Sychem (Ac 7:16) It stood in the narrow sheltered valley between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south, these mountains at their base being only some 500 yards apart. Here Abraham pitched his tent and built his first altar in the Promised Land, and received the first divine promise #Ge 12:6,7. Shechem was one of the three cities of refuge on the west side of the Jordan and also a Levitical city (Josh 20:7; 21:21; 1 Chr 6:67). It was the site where the Israelites were instructed to go FIRST when they entered the promised land. There, the covenant was renewed and the promised and curses were read from the two mounts. Near by was Shiloh (also in the tribe of Ephraim, the named firstborn and inheritor of the name Israel) and there the Ark stayed for the first 400 years or so until the northern tribes became so corrupt that God had David move the ark to Jerusalem in Judah.

    The subject of Shechem also relates to the thread on the discussion of "who is Israel", for although the Messiah and Kingship was to be through Judah, the birthright of the firstborn (which took with the NAME Israel) was passed from Isaac to Jacob to Josheph's son Ephraim.

    1Ch 5:1-2 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph‘s

    The word shechem means SHOULDER. One of the reasons I find it to be of great interest, besides all the numerous significant events that happened there, is because it is the place (or THING, if taken spiritually) given to Ephraim as his extra PORTION, the double portion allotted to the FIRSTBORN.

    Ge 48:22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

    The specific Hebrew phrase here is "shechem achad". Some commentators consider it refers to the literal town of Shechem. Others find the whole verse curious, for Shechem was not taken by the sword…..and whenever a verse is found by all commentators a mystery …..I always wonder if the meaning is a prophecy whose meaning must be found in the spiritual meaning of the words. The phrase "shechem ached" is found only one other place in scripture and is there translated "one consent" or in some translations, more literally, as "one shoulder".

    Zep 3: 9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent (with one shoulder).10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast ransgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

    From the contents it is apparent that this is at the time when the gentiles (and depending on your view of exactly WHO the gentiles are, either backslidden Israel in the 10 scattered tribes and those with whom they had mingled themselves, or spiritual Israel/the church, who was symbolized by Hosea prophesying to Ephraim) and Judah are united as the one new man Christ talks about.

    Ho 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
    Ho 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
    Ro 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
    Ro 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.


    Much of what is called the "mystery" of the gospel in the New Testament concerns this breaking down of the wall of partition between the Jews and Gentiles. Some case can be made that this is the same as the reunion of Ephraim and Judah, the two sticks, as the then scattered tribes were considered gentiles. In any case, the prayer of Christ in John is all about that they may be ONE….and the fulfillment at Pentecost was also that they were all in ONE ACCORD (i.e. ONE CONSENT). …and of course that oneness is not only with each other but with Christ and the Father.

    The idea of the inheritance of the "double portion" being associated with the fullness of the Holy Spirit that the Church received at Pentecost is not a new one and neither is Ephraim as a type of the Church because of Hosea's prophecy. However, I have never heard anyone speak of the "shechem achad" inheritance given to Ephraim as his extra portion as being the "ONENESS" of spirit given to the church. Anyone see where I'm going with this???? Does it make any sense to you?? If that were the case then the rest of that verse (if it is a prophecy of the church) which otherwise makes no sense could make sense symbolically.

    "which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow."

    I'll let others speculate on this before I give my thoughts. Then I'll continue.......

  2. #2
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    YinonYavo,
    you did quite a bit of study on the subject; Shechem. I read through it with great interest, appreciating the detail of your findings.

    I do not have anything, at this time, concerning the double portion of Ephraim, but am looking forward to the contribution of others, as well as the sequel by you to your own posting.

    As to the subject; Shechem, I would submit this comment;
    When Abram was called out of Ur of Chaldees, he was led out of his country to a land in which he did not formerly reside.
    He is the "Father of the faith" in that God's dealings with him established the original groundword of faith for all; Jew and Gentile alike.
    I see the process of calling him out, and bringing him in, to be likened to the process we, today, experience in what Paul teaches is "justification"; being made right with God, being made just, conferring righteousness. That was true of Abram as well. He believed in the God that justifies the ungodly. (Romans 4:5).

    Shechem is the initial place, inside the land of Canaan, where Abram pitched his tent, and made an altar (as you pointed out).

    What then would Shechem represent to us?

    I say that it could spiritually represent the cross of Christ. I say that because He first shed His blood, starting in the garden of Gethsamane, and then continued to shed His blood all through His journey to the actual cross.
    The blood speaks of justification, and can be compared to the process of taking Abram out of his land, into the new land. We, likewise, are translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

    The blood is for our sins.

    The cross, and His death upon the "tree", is for the death of the flesh, and the strength thereof (the shoulder representing strength of the flesh). I note that he did not tarry in Shechem, but moved without delay to pitch his tent midway between Bethel (the house of God), and, Ai (a heap of ruins).

    Jesus was taken from the cross that day, without delay. This being the reality of the foreshadowing in Deuteronomy 21:22,23.

    The cross is where we return, time after time, to ultimately see ourselves crucified together with Him.

    Joel

  3. #3
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    373

    Quote Originally Posted by yinonyavo View Post
    PLEASE HELP!!
    For years I have been trying to clarify the significance of SHECHEM, but I can't quite get all the way there. So I would appreciate any thoughts from you all....... I will provide below all related scriptures

    SHECHEM is also called Sichem (Ge 12:6) and Sychem (Ac 7:16)
    Genesis (1) 12:6 (18) = 19 KUF/ HOLY
    Acts (44) 7:16 (23) = 67/ 19th prime/ KUF/ HOLY

    It stood in the narrow sheltered valley between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south, these mountains at their base being only some 500 yards apart. Here Abraham pitched his tent and built his first altar in the Promised Land, and received the first divine promise #Ge 12:6,7.
    Genesis (1) 12:6 (18) = 19/ KUF/ HOLY
    Genesis (1) 12:7 (19) = 20/ HEAD

    Shechem was one of the three cities of refuge on the west side of the Jordan and also a Levitical city (Josh 20:7; 21:21; 1 Chr 6:67).
    Joshua (6) 20:7 (27) = 33 (3x11)
    Joshua (6) 21:21 (42) = 48 2(4)x3
    1Chronicles (13) 6:67 (73) = 86 (2x43)

    1Ch 5:1-2 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph‘s
    1Chronicles (13) 5:1 (6) = 19/ KUF/ HOLY
    1Chronicles (13) 5:2 (7) = 20 / REISH / HEAD

    Ge 48:22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.
    Genesis (1) 48:22 = (71/ 20th prime/ REISH/ HEAD)

    The specific Hebrew phrase here is "shechem achad". Some commentators consider it refers to the literal town of Shechem. Others find the whole verse curious, for Shechem was not taken by the sword…..and whenever a verse is found by all commentators a mystery …..I always wonder if the meaning is a prophecy whose meaning must be found in the spiritual meaning of the words.
    I just used Richard's gematria base: shechem (360) achad (13): 373

    Zep 3: 9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent (with one shoulder).10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast ransgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.
    Zephaniah (36) 3:9 (12) = 48 (2(4)x3)
    Zephaniah (36) 3:10 (13) = 49 (7x7)
    Zephaniah (36) 3:11 (14) = 50 (2x5(2)
    Zephaniah (36) 3:12 (15) = 51 (3x17)

    Ho 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
    Hosea (28) 1:10 (11) = 39 (3x13)
    3 GIMEL 13 MEM / the first time this word GM is used is in Genesis (1) 3:6 (9) (10) when the woman ate from the tree. 13 is also the 6th prime/ VAV

    Ho 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
    Hosea (28) 2:23 (25) = 53 (16th prime/AYIN)

    Ro 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
    Ro 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
    Romans (45) 9:25 (34) = 79 / 22nd prime/TAV
    Romans (45) 9:26 (35) = 80 (2(4)x5) / PEI
    See Strong's #8596 and associated Scriptures

    The only 'big clue' I'm seeing at present is 373
    and I will let Richard comment on that - --
    And the 19 & 20's that predominate - KUF/REISH See Strong's #7119 -7120 and associated Scriptures
    Otherwise for me - the 3x11 I know means something BIG - but I just don't know what it is!

  4. #4
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    Very observant Shalag on the 373.....I was going to save that for later....but since you brought it up I will add a little to it.....

    Ezekiel: 6-8 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.
    .......8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.

    Joel said:
    I say that it could spiritually represent the cross of Christ. I say that because He first shed His blood....
    373 - "I said unto thee when thou was in thy BLOOD"
    373 - "I sware"
    373 - "Shechem achad"
    373 - "logos"

    other phrases in this passage that will be of note later are
    "covered thy nakedness"
    and
    the subject of the covenant

  5. #5
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    Well, here goes. I'm going to TRY to keep each post short and to a single point. I know for myself, my brain tends to get too overloaded when dealing with too long of a post, and I end up not reading any of it……..

    I'm going to start with the Hebrew word Shechem, and then dissecting the parts of the word SHECHEM

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +
    As a proper name of the city or the man it is found 66 times:
    Strong's 7927 & 7928
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +
    As the word on which the proper name is based, the word for shoulder (Strong's 7926) it is found 22 times:
    Gesenius's Lexicon:
    ……The shoulder, or rather the hinder part of both shoulder-blades, or the upper part of the back next below the neck…..…..(a) the member on which a load to be borned is laid, Job 31:36. Isaiah 9:5, "the government shall be upon his shoulders"….laid on him as a load to bear. Isaiah 22:22, "I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder"….
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++
    The root and other variations are found 66 times (Strong's 7925 & 7929)
    Gesenius's Lexicon:
    Hiphil - to rise early in the morning……(Pr. Perhaps to put a load on camels…..)
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++

    66 -22 -66 .....great biblewheel numbers eh?

    The idea of burden being carried is the important one I think..........

  6. #6
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    Yinonyavo said;

    "The idea of burden being carried is the important one I think.........."
    -------------------------------- ------------------------------------

    There are many cross-references in the NT to correlate with "burden being carried" which can be tied into the Cross of Christ;

    especially where Jesus exhorts His disciples to pick up their cross daily and follow after Him.

    Joel

  7. #7
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    Shechem then, is more properly the whole shoulder across the back or the area "between the shoulders" where a load or burden would be carried. There is another word for the individual area of the shoulder proper, which is Kataph. There is also another word for the back.

    Now on to dissect the make up of the word SHECHEM spelled
    SHIN - KAF - MEM

    SHIN:
    The Hebrew letter "SHIN" is literally a TOOTH. Although this letter is not used as a regular prefix in the Hebrew, a case can be made that it is, in certain words, and has the meaning of "biting", "between", "in the midst of" or "dividing in two" when placed as a prefix. The Hebrew word for Heaven is one such case. The heavens (Hebrew sh - mayim) were made by diving the waters (Hebrew - "mayim") in two (above and below). i.e. the heavens were between or in the midst of the waters. So it is the word mayim (water) with the letter shin added as a prefix. (maybe someone can find other examples)

    KAF - MEM:
    As for the - KAF - MEM, there are a number of Hebrew roots ending in the letter mem which carry the meaning of "closed up", "conceal", "silent", "enclosed", "heaped up", etc., for the character of the sound "M" is with a shut up or closed mouth. Many English words reflect this (this could go in the Hebrew cognates thread). For instance
    Strong's 1748 damam..to be silent, English: dumb
    Other closed mouth English words: hum, mum, gum, etc.

    The particular Hebrew words from the root c/k*mm usually mean heaped up, or gathered in the sense of a group of people, etc., hence the English words COMMunity, COMMune, COMpartment, COMbine, COMpact, COMpany, COMpose, COMpound, COMpress, COMpile, etc.

    We have the Hebrew word KiMah which is the Pleiades and means a heap or cluster, Strong's 3598. (See Gesenius's Lexicon here on the root KUM)

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Together we have: SHIN (between) + KAF - MEM (the heaps), which is exactly the meaning of shechem, "between the heaps(of the shoulders, the shoulders being shaped like a heap or hill on each side)"
    Last edited by yinonyavo; 07-11-2007 at 09:47 AM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    So, now we have this image of two heaps with something in the middle and the idea of gathering, enclosing, hiding or concealment. Consider this verse about the prophecy to Benjamin:

    De 33:12 …The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

    Now consider that the city of Shechem was situated between two hills (heaps, if you will), Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. It was also a city of refuge:
    Jos 21:21 For they gave them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer;

    In Deut. 27 we have the event of the blessings and cursings from these two hills on either side of Shechem, the place where God had instructed the Israelites to go first when they entered the promised land:

    De 11:29 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.

    Deut 27:12 These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people,
    when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and
    Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin: 13 And these shall stand upon
    mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and
    Naphtali.


    So, again we see an image of the literal city of Shechem matches the meaning of the word from which its name is derived. …that of two "heaps (in two senses: the hills themselves and the two groups of tribes gathered on them)" with a refuge , safe place, i.e. covering (the refuge city of Shechem) between.

    Now a little bit of searching the scriptures will find this image in other important events or images.

    1. The indiscretion of Noah is "covered" (covered his nakedness actually….remember that phrase from the afore mention verse) and the covering is carried on the shoulders of his sons:

    Ge 9:23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

    This is very much like when the Levites prepared to move the Ark….they took down the covering off the four pillars which separated the Holy of Holies and walked backwards with the covering so as not to look upon the Ark. The ark was then born upon the SHOULDERS for transport.

    2. The high priests garments were composed of the two shoulder stones, each with 6 tribal names (just like the 6 tribes on mount Ebal and Gerizim) and the breastplate between bearing the judgment of the children of Israel.


    Ex 28: 9-10 And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the
    children of Israel:10 Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest
    on the other stone, according to their birth.
    Ex 28:30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.


    3. The passing through the red sea and the River Jordan also bear this exact same image. God "heaped" up the waters on each side and they passed in SAFETY between the waters.

    Ps 78:13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.
    Joshua3:13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.


    4. In the NT we have Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well. This also takes place at SHECHEM (here called Sychar, but because of the mention of Jacob's parcel of land and well the location is made known). So we have here a more forthright picture of salvation/safety/refuge between the "shoulders" of the mounts at SHECHEM.

    5. Here at SHECHEM were the bones of Joseph brought up from Egypt and buried. Most agree so were the bones of the other 11 brothers, i.e. the RESTING place of all Israel:

    Ac 7:15-16 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulcher…….

    From John Calvins commentary:And the bones of Joseph, etc The time when the bones of Joseph were buried is not mentioned; but it is easy to infer that the Israelites had performed this duty after they obtained a peaceful habitation in the city of Shechem. For although he had not designated a particular place for a sepulchre, they thought it a mark of respect to deposit his bones in the field which Jacob had purchased. It may be, however, that this is expressed as a censure on the sluggishness of the people, to which it was owing, that Joseph could not be buried with Abraham, that locality being still in the power of the enemy. Stephen (#Ac 7) mentions the bones of the twelve patriarchs, and it is not impossible that the other tribes, from feelings of emulation, gathered together the ashes of their progenitors.

  9. #9
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    Dinah

    Hi Folks!

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the rape of Dinah yet in this thread. Whenever I think of Shechem, the first thing that comes to mind is the vicious retribution taken by Simeon and Levi for the rape of their sister upon the town of Shechem. This story is one of the powerful events in the life of Israel.

    To this present day, the Jews take the town of Shechem as the chief symbol for the tribe of Simeon. You can see this in depictions of the tribe of Simeon in stained-glass windows, on Israeli postage stamps, and even in the work of artist Salvador Dali in his series on the 12 tribes of Israel. They all draw upon the same source for their symbols, which is the drama recounted at Genesis 34. Simeon's symbol is a city wall, sometimes with a sword above it.

    Simeon and Levi took their swords and slaughtered the entire male population of Shechem. For this, they received the ire of their father; and in the blessings given over his sons on his death-bed, Israel pronounced a scathing judgment upon both Simeon and Levi for their cruelty towards Shechem (Genesis 49:5-7).

    The other important event I associate with Shechem has already been mentioned. It was the final burial place of Joseph, and - as such - adds another level of signification to Shechem, Joseph being the inheritor of the wonderful birthright promise of immense material blessing and prosperity (Genesis 49:22-26; Deuteronomy 33:13-17), which promise has been fulfilled in our times by the descendants of the sons of Joseph - Ephraim and Manasseh - known today as the brother peoples of the United Kingdom and the United States. God always keeps His promises!

    Stephen

    PS: Since someone mentioned the breastplate, the following feature might be worth noting. The two shoulder stones of the ephod - upon which were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes - were both shoham stones, or white agate. This was the same as the eleventh breastplate stone, which was also a shoham stone. The eleventh breastplate stone belongs to Joseph, who was the eleventh son of Israel. In the two shoulder stones we therefore see a representation of Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph.
    Last edited by Stephen; 07-11-2007 at 09:30 PM. Reason: additions

  10. #10
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    Stephen,

    Lots of good points. The story of Dinah was one I wanted very much to touch upon. I find it very interesting that it is such a LONG detail account. I was hoping to at some point ask for some thoughts from you all on why this account is given such space?????

    Also the verse condemning this action is one of those verses that puzzles almost all commentators. I found an interesting comment in Walter Maunder's book on this verse:

    Genesis 49:5 ¶ Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.

    From "The Astronomy of the Bible"
    by E. Walter Maunder 1908:

    "In their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they houghed an ox."
    The first line appears to refer to the massacre of the
    Shechemites ; the second is interpreted by the Jorusdem
    Targum, "In their willfulness they sold Joseph their
    brother, who is likened to an ox."

    And in the blessing of Joseph it is said that his "branches (margin, daughters),
    run over tho wall." Some translators have rendered this,
    "The daughters walk upon the bull," "wall " and "bull "
    being only distinguishable in the original by a slight
    difference in the pointing. ...the device associated expressly
    with Joseph is the Bull, and Jacob's blessing to his son
    has been sometimes rendered-
    "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by
    a well; the daughters walk upon the wall"...That is, " the Seven Sisters," the Pleiades, are on the shoulder of Taurus.

    It is not the reason given for the deferring of the birthright for in I Ch we see it was the affair with his father's concubine:
    1Ch 5:1 ¶ Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.

    Also the stone thing was very interesting. .... I want to look into that......

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